Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, declared on Tuesday that he had used the American "invasion clauses." He claimed that the U.S. Constitution and his state Constitution would grant him the authority to use "unprecedented steps" to halt the flow of immigrants.
It was unclear what new actions the Republican governor would take with the increased authority because he has long advocated a harsh stance on the border between the United States and Mexico.
"I invoked the Invasion Clauses of the United States and Texas Constitutions to fully authorize Texas to take unprecedented actions to defend our state against an invasion," the governor wrote in a tweet. By using that constitutional power, additional permission, and executive orders, “I'm keeping our state and nation safe.”
He cited actions already taken, such as stationing gunboats on the Rio Grande River and sending the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to patrol the border. He also mentioned using state funds to build parts of the border wall.
Conservatives who want governors to play a more active role in tightening borders to fill the gaps left by the Biden administration's more lax policy have long called for the invasion declaration.
However, some of the proponents of the declaration idea claimed that Mr. Abbott's proposal fell short of his capabilities.
"Governor Abbott has not used an invasion declaration's full power. Saying you're being invaded but doing nothing to stop the attackers from coming,” according to Ken Cuccinelli and Russ Vought, former budget directors in the Trump White House and acting deputy secretary of homeland security, is a hollow shell.
"This will continue to be a P.R. stunt until Governor Abbott removes illegals back across the border and out of the country," said Mr. Vought and Mr. Cuccinelli, who are now a part of the Center for Renewing America. "And Texas and the U.S. are worse off because of it."
Normally, the use of force and border management is reserved for the federal government. States have assisted in various ways.
The Constitution, however, is said to include an exception if a state is "really invaded," according to Mr. Cuccinelli and Mr. Vought.
Mr. Abbott's action was taken just after Homeland Security issued the most recent border statistics, which continued to show record-level mayhem.
More than 204,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended by Border Patrol agents in October, the highest number ever for that month, and more than 26,000 more were spotted by officers entering land border crossings.
Mr. Abbott's invasion declaration, according to Zachary Mueller, political director at the immigrant rights organization America's Voice, is the most recent example of a "White nationalist conspiracy theory."
“Gov. Abbott is well aware that what he did today might have fatal repercussions because another well-armed Texan, like the gunman in El Paso, might hear him refer to the migrants as an invasion and decide to "take matters into his own hands," according to Mr. Mueller.
He said that Mr. Abbott's action was an effort to raise his profile in preparation for a prospective 2024 presidential run.
However, the mayor of a border town asserted on Wednesday that the flood of undocumented immigrants is not an "invasion" but rather a "humanitarian crisis."
Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott's declaration of invasion at the U.S.-Mexico border, intended to use state authorities to bolster security and send illegal immigrants back to Mexico, was contested by Democratic Rio Grande City Mayor Joel Villarreal.
The proclamation enables the state of Texas to send the National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to construct a border wall, send migrants back to Mexico, and classify Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.
Villarreal stated, "Unfortunately, what I see here and, by the way, I disagree with the governor describing the immigration as invasion because this type of hyperbole has led to discriminatory immigration policies in American history." "We must acknowledge that this is a humanitarian situation. There is no question that it is a crisis. We must confront it, and naturally, Washington, D.C., has the solutions.
He said that mayors are working together to "handle" the influx of migrants and urged the federal government to help. He lambasted both parties for failing to reach out to state and local politicians and accomplish meaningful immigration reform.
Since President Joe Biden's administration began, there has been an increase in migrant detentions. According to Customs and Border Protection, agents encountered 230,678 migrants at the border in October 2022, the first month of the fiscal year 2023, up from 164,837 people detained in the same month the year before.
The mayor went on to say that the cartels are making a fortune by "utilizing" American laws and "exploiting our flawed immigration system." He urged Mexico to cooperate with American authorities to manage the immigration flow through "cooperation."
According to earlier reports, rather than assisting in the control of the mass movement, Mexican authorities are doing little to stop illegal immigration by allowing migrants to enter the United States. Abbott met with Mexican government representatives to discuss a plan to boost security along the Mexican side of the border.
According to a survey conducted by Ipsos and NPR in August, 54% of Americans think it is "somewhat true" that there is an invasion taking place on the southern border. In addition, according to 50 percent of respondents, migrants are to blame for an increase in drug-related deaths because they bring large amounts of fentanyl across the border.